When you get into the habit of washing clothes at home, switching back to the local laundromat or running to a friend's home to wash your clothes can be a hassle. So, whether you are replacing a broken washer, renovating the laundry room, or moving to a new home entirely, it's beneficial to know how to install a washing machine.
If you have the knowledge and skill to install a new washer or reinstall your current washing machine, then you won't need to worry about waiting for an appointment and paying to have a professional plumber install the washer. Use this guide to learn what steps to take to install a washing machine, including the appropriate tools and accessories to get the job done.
Any time that you need to lift or move a heavy appliance, like a washing machine, it's necessary to ensure that you are lifting properly to avoid muscle strain and injury. It's also recommended to have at least one other adult available to help lift the washer onto an appliance cart and balance the washer while it's moved. Additionally, you need to wear gloves to protect your hands and help you grip the machine, as well as steel-toed footwear to keep your feet safe from being crushed by the washer if it gets dropped or slips off the appliance cart.
Equipment / Tools
- Appliance cart
- Measuring tape
- Adjustable wrench
- Washer hose kit
- Drain hose
Plan the Installation Location
If you already have a washing machine installed and you are just replacing it with a new machine, then finding a suitable location isn't a big problem. Just make sure to measure the space with a measuring tape to ensure that the new washer will fit.
However, if you are moving into a new home or renovating the laundry room, then you need to plan an installation location for the appliance. Most electric dryers rely on 240V power, while washing machines need a standard 120V outlet. Gas dryers must be hooked up by a licensed professional.
Additionally, the washer needs water to wash the laundry, so plan to have hot and cold water supply valves, as well as a suitable drain location for the drain line.
Keep in mind that water lines are prone to freezing if the room isn't properly insulated, so setting up a washer in the garage is not be the best choice if the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.
Disconnect and Remove the Old Washer
For washing machine replacement projects, you will need to disconnect the old machine and remove it from the laundry room before you can install the new machine. Unplug the washer, then use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the existing water supply hoses, placing the ends into a bucket to drain any water remaining in the lines.
Similarly, you will need to remove the drain line and place it into the bucket to empty any remaining water. Once you are satisfied that the water supply and drain lines are empty, you can disconnect them from the washer.
Slide the washing machine out of the current position so that there is enough space on all sides to properly grip the washer. With the help of a second adult, tilt the washer up on one end and slide an appliance cart underneath the washer.
Secure the washer with furniture straps or tape, then use the appliance cart to remove the old washer from the home.
Slide the Washer Into Position
Once you have selected a spot for the new washing machine or the location to reinstall your current washer after a move or renovation project, then you will need to clean out any debris or obstacles that may be blocking the area. When the space is clear, carefully slide the washing machine into the general location. Have a second adult help to move the heavy appliance in order to avoid scraping or scratching the floor. At this point in the installation process, you will need to keep the washer pulled out from the wall in order to access the back of the machine. You should always familiarize yourself by reading the installation manual.
Attach the Water Supply Hoses
A washing machine requires access to water in order to wash the laundry, so you should have at least a cold water supply connection located close to the washer. Most laundry set-ups will have a hot and cold water supply connection for the washer.
Connect the cold water supply hose to the cold water supply inlet on the washer, then connect the hot water supply hose to the hot water supply inlet. Use your adjustable wrench to tighten the connection if necessary. Attach the other end of the cold water hose to the cold water supply line, then attach the other end of the hot water hose to the hot water supply line.
If the existing water supply hoses are too short to reach the water supply lines, then you will need to invest in new water supply hoses that fit the set-up. It's also recommended to inspect your current water supply hoses for any signs of cracking, leaks, or corrosion. If there is a significant amount of wear-and-tear from years of use, it's a good idea to replace the hoses.
Connect the Drain Hose
Just as the washer needs clean water to wash the laundry, it also needs to drain the used water before switching to a spin cycle to help remove any access water from the laundry. The washing machine has a drain that exits from the base of the machine, but you need to connect a drain hose to this outlet in order to avoid flooding the laundry area.
Attach the drain hose to the back of the washing machine, then run the other end of the drain hose to an appropriate drainage location. Many laundry set-ups with have a vertical standpipe installed for the drain hose, but if your laundry area doesn't have a standpipe drain, you may need to feed the drain hose into the laundry sink or even connect it to a floor drain.
Use a plastic hose guide to ensure the drain hose empties into the standpipe, sink, or floor drain without creating a mess. Also, make sure to leave several inches of space between the end of the drain hose and the bottom of the drain or the bottom of the sink. Otherwise, the hose can actually siphon dirty water from the sink back into the washer, creating a cross-contamination problem.
Plug in the Washer
When you are finished connecting the water supply hoses and the drain hose, you can plug in the washer without worrying about water dripping on the electrical connection. With the washing machine plugged in and all the hoses in place, you no longer need access to the back of the washer. Slide the machine back against the wall, but make sure to leave enough space for the water supply hoses and drain hose.
Level the Washing Machine
Washing machines are typically designed with small leveling feet under each corner to help make slight changes to level out the washer. You can find out if the washer is level by placing a level on the top of the machine. Use each of the leveling feet to increase or decrease the height of one corner at a time until the machine is level. Remember to check if the washer is level from both left to right and from front to back. Otherwise, you may find that the washer is leaning forward too much, causing the drum to hit the sides of the washer during a heavy wash cycle or a spin cycle.
Test the Washer
After installing or reinstalling a washer, it's important to test the machine to ensure that everything is connected properly. If you don't test the washer and just assume that it is properly installed you may be creating a bigger problem in the long run, especially if there are any leaks that could damage the flooring, walls, and any items or furniture in the room.
If you test the washer and see a leak or water on the floor, try tightening the connections on the supply lines, then verify that the drain hose is draining the water into the appropriate drain. Worn out hoses can also be the cause of a leak, so if any of the hoses appear to be in poor condition, it's recommended to replace them.